SoftBank is considering making a large investment in home delivery service goPuff, the website The Infomation reported.
The investment could be for several hundred million dollars, according to the article.
Philly-based goPuff has already reached Unicorn status, The Information says, but its been very quiet when it comes to announcing investment events.
SoftBank might have some channel conflicts with other startups its invested in, including Uber and DoorDash, and that has been an issue of debate within SoftBank.
Founded in 2013 by Drexel students Rafael Ilishayev and Yakir Gola, goPuff grew like a weed and now serves 90 markets.
Speculation about SoftBank’s planned $108 billion Vision Fund ll (which isn’t certain to be the funding source for any investment in goPuff) has often involved questions as to how far SoftBank will have to search for investment opportunities, since it already reached many obvious ones through the first Vision Fund.
To date, goPuff funding per CrunchBase is $8.3 million from two rounds, the latest a 2016 Series A round led by Anthos. But goPuff must have gone beyond that amount already judging from its rapid expansion to 30 states, going down to Florida and to Arizona and Colorado to the west. So my guess is it already has more funding from somewhere.
But there are risks, as well as opportunities, in moving so quickly to establish a national footprint.
Update: Verified recent investor in goPuff:
Dan Primack’s Pro Rata reported in early July that “3L Capital tells Axios that it’s raised $217 million for its debut fund, which will make growth equity investments in consumer and enterprise tech companies.””
“It launched around 18 months ago, and used a warehousing facility to already invest around $100 million into companies like TheRealReal, Smile Direct Club, goPuff, SnackNation and ChowNow. “
Don’t know what kind of round was involved.
But The information piece said goPuff was already a Unicorn.